Colts Opt To Put Hagler On Injured Reserve

Tyjuan Hagler's chance of playing this season ended today in an unfortunate twist for the talented rookie.

ColtPower has learned from a source close to the team that rookie linebacker Tyjuan Hagler was told Wednesday afternoon that the Colts won't be activating him and will instead place him on injured reserve. The move ends the 5th-round draft pick's season after recovering from sports hernia surgery this past summer.

The move is a somewhat curious one for the Colts who appear to simply have too many healthy, talented players for their 53-man roster at this point. Veteran defensive tackle Josh Williams and defensive back Von Hutchins returned to practice today, starting the clock on a three-week period that the Colts will now have to activate or IR those two players, further complicating their roster situation.

Hagler had been practicing with the team for the past three weeks, and told ColtPower back in mid-October that "I feel stronger than I did before the surgery. It's my first time running in two years without pain."

Hagler still isn't having any pain as a result of the surgery or his rehab. But since he was on the Physically Unable to Perform list, the Colts have the option to move him to IR, even if he was healthy enough to practice. It's their judgment call as to whether or not he is ready to handle the rigorous training, practice, and game action -- which also provides them with plenty of leeway in managing their current roster situation. Hagler can continue to attend team meetings and learn the system, but he can no longer practice this year.

Had the Colts attempted to move him to their practice squad instead, they would've had to release him and hope that he would clear waivers. And even if he did, any other team willing to sign him to their active roster during the balance of the season could have plucked him from the practice squad. And that was a risk too great to take with the talented rookie who has been working out at middle linebacker. So moving him to injured reserve was the only way the Colts could assure that he would still be with the team next season without activating him today.

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